A Mosaic of Ecosystems
A mosaic of ecosystems, including rivers, streams, marshlands, typical grassy glades called bais, and marshes, supports viable populations of complete faunal and floral assemblages. These include top predators, rare and endangered species such as forest elephants, gorillas, and several antelope species such as the sitatunga and the emblematic bongo.
Remaining Threats despite the Protected Area Status
The value of the DSPA was recognized through the creation of the Dzanga-Sangha Protected Area Complex in 1990 and subsequently by its designation by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2012. Despite its status as a protected area, Dzanga-Sangha is not safe from all threats.
The risks include the excessive exploitation of natural resources (mining, non-timber forest products, hunting of wild animals) caused by population growth and economic interests. This is being compounded by economic crises, instability, and accelerated unemployment in the CAR.
Unrest and Lack of Judicial Means in the CAR
In addition, the military and political unrest of 2012-2013 had an impact and led to the proliferation of weapons of war used for poaching. Finally, the judiciary system does not have the means and suitable premises to arrest criminals.
Direct Threats to the Biodiversity Values of this Protected Area.
Relentless Exploitation of Meat and Fish
Virtually all species are affected. The growing demand for bushmeat comes from distant urban areas where bushmeat is affordable to a growing population. The decrease of transportation costs linked to the opening of rainforests is an aggravating factor. Furthermore, unsustainable fishing methods cause a decline in stocks of many species which have no opportunity to recover.
Poaching for Ivory
The worldwide illegal trade in ivory is responsible for the sharp decline in elephant populations in Africa.
Habitat Destruction (Mining, Unsustainable Logging, Agriculture)
Population growth goes hand in hand with a rising demand for more land. This applies mostly to agricultural lands and the exploitation of natural resources. The habitat of many rare species is lost due to unsustainable land development. Since 2014, two companies have each been granted a logging and administrative permit. Logging by the two companies will be completed by 2020. At that point, their concession permit can be extended or renewed.
Communicable Diseases between Humans and Animals
Humans penetrate ever further into protected habitats. Wild species are thus confronted with germs unknown to their immune systems.
Such diseases, which can be transmitted from humans to animals through direct contact or through food, water and the environment, are generally referred to as “zoonoses”.
The primary objective of conservation efforts is to mitigate the direct threats mentioned above, in particular poaching for bushmeat and ivory as well as the destruction of habitats.